How can I move from compliance to M&A

theraflu's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 16

So I successfully landed a temp role in compliance at a major investment bank. Although the work is interesting, its not ultimately where I wanted to be. I took this job because I really had no internships while I was getting my MBA. So now, I'll be working on landing a full time position with the IB.

  • Would it be really hard to go from compliance into M&A side?
  • I also have a trade support specialist job offer. Which one will offer me a better platform to make a transition into valuations etc?

Getting into M&A with No Experience

Moving into investment banking M&A with no relevant work experience is difficult. Here are some tips to help you break in:

  • Leverage MBA network and career services to meet with alumni and possibly get interviews
  • Work with a mentor to help shape and guide your career path
  • Trade support may be better than compliance, but it may also take you away from IB contacts you need to make to move to M&A
  • Use prior accounting experience to get an accounting or valuation associate position and then try for a lateral move into IB
  • Research the career and try to meet with people who have made their way in with non-traditional backgrounds

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Comments (18)

Apr 16, 2013

Define "decent school"

Apr 16, 2013

Top 15 MBA programs

Apr 16, 2013

Which program? Define " lack of experience" ? I thought it was fairly easy to get an IB job out of T15 MBA program.

Apr 16, 2013

do you call yourself an investment banker? or are you really a financial services compliance officer? Being an investment banking compliance person is somewhat of a paradox. Investment banking is a front office position (revenue generating), compliance is middle-office/back-office because it is a necessary evil but generates no revenue

Apr 16, 2013

I don't call myself an investment banker. Financial services compliance officer is more accurate.

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Apr 16, 2013

compliance is interesting?

Apr 16, 2013

its interesting to me because I have always had some interest in banking regulations etc. I have an MBA in finance Andre. And by lack of experience, well I only had a 1.5 years of experience in Accounting before I got into an MBA program and literally no professional experience during my MBA since I was helping manage our family owned businesses which is really worthless when applying to an IB. It's never easy to get into an IB with the kind of no experience that I have.

Apr 16, 2013

Also, as I mentioned in my first post, do you think a trade support specialist will provide me with a better opportunity to move into a job much more relevant to valuations etc?

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Apr 16, 2013

"Valuations etc"? Compliance and trade support offers? Your top 15 MBA program sounds amazeballs.

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Apr 16, 2013

Don't be too quick to judge, As I mentioned earlier, I have almost no IB related experience because of my involvement with the family business (I come from a very humble background). Associate roles require atleast one year of experience which explains why I haven't had any luck so far.

Apr 16, 2013
198four:

Don't be too quick to judge, As I mentioned earlier, I have almost no IB related experience because of my involvement with the family business (I come from a very humble background). Associate roles require atleast one year of experience which explains why I haven't had any luck so far.

Didn't you say you had 1.5 years of experience in accounting? That's more than one year of experience.

Apr 17, 2013
198four:

Don't be too quick to judge, As I mentioned earlier, I have almost no IB related experience because of my involvement with the family business (I come from a very humble background). Associate roles require atleast one year of experience which explains why I haven't had any luck so far.

Associate roles require at least one year of IB experience? Damn I guess all those post-MBA associates who don't have IB backgrounds must be just really fucking lucky. Yeah this definitively explains why you can't get a job...not because you're clueless or anything.

Apr 17, 2013

Personally, I believe trade support is better than compliance. That said, it may take you further away from the contacts you need to make in order to active your goal of moving to the "M&A Side". But, both of these positions are pretty ops./back-office related that won't provide you with any valuation experience.

I would suggest leveraging your degree into an accounting or valuation associate position, acquiring some relevant skills, and then plan on lateraling. A top 15 MBA should get you some interviews regardless of your prior WE.

Apr 17, 2013

Are you sure you went to a "top 15" MBA OP?

Apr 17, 2013

Topics like this make me wonder how competitive it really is to get into a top 15 MBA program :/

Apr 17, 2013

If we're talking Top 15 US only it should be M7 + some combination of Stern, Tuck, Haas, Ross, Darden, Fuqua, Johnson, Yale SOM, Anderson. If OP goes to one of these schools it'd be really discouraging if he's having this much trouble getting a job in high finance...

Apr 17, 2013

Yes OP, did you actually go to the schools listed above?

Apr 17, 2013
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